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Falling Rock, Fall on Rock, No Hard Hat, Washington, North Cascades National Park

FALLING ROCK, FALL ON ROCK, NO HARD HAT

Washington, North Cascades National Park

On May 24, 1987, Tom Wiesman (33) was fatally injured while descending Mixup Peak. He was struck on the head by a falling rock and fell an estimated 400 meters over rock and snow, coming to rest in a narrow snow gully.

Wiesman and his partner, Kathy McReady (25), started their climb from the end of the Cascade River Road. They reached the summit and then rappelled off the east face. They had completed the rappel and were standing on a small ledge. McCready reached for the rope to remove it from the anchor when several rocks came down. At the time or just prior to being hit, Wiesman pushed McCready out of the way of the falling rocks. Wiesman was hit in the head and pushed off the ledge and disappeared from McCready’s sight. She down-climbed from the ledge in an attempt to locate him. She looked for about an hour and then decided to return for help. She climbed back up to the route and returned the same way they had come in. Park and MRA personnel completed an evacuation by 2130. (Source: William Lester, Park Ranger, North Cascades National Park)

Analysis

Rescue personnel determined that the head injury which caused this death could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a hard hat. (Source: William Jones, Skagit Mountain Rescue Unit)